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Brewster projects coming down to make way for developers

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The Brewster-Douglass housing project is scheduled to be demolished, according to Mayor Dave Bing. The Brewster-Douglass housing project is scheduled to be demolished, according to Mayor Dave Bing.
These vacant 14-story towers loom over I-75 near downtown Detroit. These vacant 14-story towers loom over I-75 near downtown Detroit.

DETROIT (WJBK) -- Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says a now-vacant housing project where singers Diana Ross and the Supremes lived before becoming Motown superstars will be demolished.

Bing made the announcement Thursday about the massive Frederick Douglass Homes complex, formerly known as the Brewster-Douglass housing project. "The transformation is on its way," said Bing. "There are a lot of good things that are starting to happen."

Known to most Detroiters as the Brewster projects, the decades-old complex along Interstate 75 has been vacant since the last families were relocated in 2008 due to safety concerns. It consists of brick condo-like units, six-story buildings and four 14-story towers.

Bing said in his State of the City address in March that the complex would be demolished by year's end to make way for redevelopment.

"Once this is demolished, I've already had some recommendations from developers who want to come here and have some different kinds of ideas of what ought to happen," said Bing. "They're starting to line up and I think that's very, very healthy."

A $6.5 million federal grant will pay for demolition and soil remediation that is expected to pave the way for redevelopment on several city blocks. Demolition could being in early 2013.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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